Last night Louisiana’s House rejected extending the end of the Hollywood tax credit for a few more years.
The House voted 45-37 to defeat Senate Bill 173, which would have kept around two years longer the costly tax benefit that many say is the reason filmmakers choose Louisiana to produce their movies and television productions. Pitched as a way to ensure that movie producers would consider other parts of the state and not just New Orleans for their films, the measure also included postponing the tax credit’s sunset from July 2025 to July 2028.
State Sen. Sharon Hewitt, the Slidell Republican who sponsored SB173, had said previously the extension was necessary because it takes several years before cameras start rolling and the industry is gearing up on a host of film projects after a year of little activity because of the pandemic.
But it was the three-year postponement of the end of the tax credit that caught the attention of House members and ended what had been a smooth ride through the legislative process for the measure. State Rep. Richard Nelson of Mandeville pointed out that giving teachers the full $1,000 annual raise they wanted, which legislators didn’t do this session choosing instead an $800 pay hike, would have cost about a third of the $180 million credited to movie producers each year.